So, things have just gone to the next level. Congratulations! You are probably thinking, What now?? Well, the first thing to know is that you have come to the right place. We, at The Cottage Wedding Venue in Gilbert, AZ, are ready and available to help you with keeping your stress levels low while planning all of the events that surround your evolving relationship. Allow yourself to take a deep breath and blow out any anxious thoughts and feelings. Reach out your hand (Come on, no one is watching). Now, visualize a familiar, caring, and supportive hand connecting with yours. Take a second to feel a firm, reassuring squeeze. Together, we are going to walk through the first 10 steps of what comes next. All you have to do is promise not to let go. Simple enough, right?
- Decide How You Want to Spread the Word
This is the first, of many, important discussions you want to have with your new fiancé. There are several ways you can share the news of your upcoming nuptials, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that the announcement should be kept as personal as possible. This is especially the case for parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. Resist the urge to send out a group text or generate a mass post on social media. Instead, take the time to arrange a lunch date, a video chat, or, at the very least, a personal phone call. This is an exceptional moment that needs to be treated with intimacy amongst those who you hold dear.
- Get the Ring Insured
This may not have been on your radar, but it is oh, so important to get this step accomplished. A simple phone call to your current insurance agent will save you a lot of potential heartache, if something were to happen to your ring. Inquire about your current coverage, if you have a homeowners or renters policy. There may be limits on jewelry or circumstances, such as loss or damage, which may not be included. You may need to ask about purchasing a “rider,” “floater,” or some other type of extension to your policy, which is sometimes referred to as “scheduling property.” Let the insurance experts guide you in all of the options that are available and, of course, what would be best for your particular budget and situation.
- Address Ring Sizing
Your engagement ring is a symbol of your love, dedication, and commitment to each other, as a couple. In fact, its circular shape represents a never ending connection to your future spouse. Needless to say, your ring is important, and you want to treat it as such. Since your significant other spent a lot of time, effort, and thought into selecting the perfect ring, you want to ensure that the fit is just as ideal. Don’t worry, having your ring resized is quite common. Going back to your original jeweler is the best way to get assistance with this task. If your ring mostly fits, you may just need to add a “sizing assistant” to secure the ring against your finger. If it uncomfortably fits or is not remotely snug, there will need to be more considerable adjustments made. No matter what modifications need to be made, the ring will always be as sentimental as the relationship that it represents.
- Post a Ring Pic
Since your ring is an unspoken way to communicate your engagement, you are going to want to highlight it when announcing your commitment to the world. Treat yourself to a fresh manicure before arranging a mini photo shoot of your latest accessory. You may want to opt for a natural nail with a simple clear or nude polish to really make your ring stand out. Make your engagement Facebook official and spam Instagram and Snapchat with ring selfies. #isaidyes
- Establish Clear Expectations
Another discussion point for you and your fiancé is how much involvement each of you wants to have in the planning process. Is it a 50/50 split or does one partner want to completely take the reins? Whatever you decide, this conversation is a MUST to guarantee that there are no hurt feelings or unfulfilled expectations throughout the process. In tandem with this dialogue, you and your partner should come up with a shared “one liner” to respond to questions about your wedding planning. It is common for excited friends and family members to bombard you with endless where, when, and how questions, as well as give unsolicited advice. Know this ahead of time, you and your spouse can have a solid plan in place to ensure that you stand united when responding.
- Set a Budget
We know, we know. Talking about money is not everyone favorite topic, but it is a conversation that is vital when planning your wedding. The first topic of discussion needs to be around who is contributing monetarily. Are you and your fiancé paying for everything, or are your parents or grandparents chipping in? This is a “sit down discussion” topic that should be handled with care. Plan to go into it with fluid expectations. You want everyone to be completely transparent about their level of comfort when it comes to funding. If there are family members or friends who cannot take on a financial expense, maybe they would be willing to share their space or skills to help keep spending low. The big topics to cover include the venue, dress/attire, flowers/décor, food and drinks, photography/videography, and entertainment/music. After an estimated budget has been established, commit to sticking to it. The key is to stay flexible. Prioritize what absolutely takes precedence and what can possibly be eliminated, if necessary.
- Think about Potential Dates
Setting the date can seem like a daunting task. If you go into the process with an open mind, it will ease some of the stress involved. It is best to start with a certain time of year or season that appeals to you and your fiancé. Consider the weather trends and any potential patterns of natural disasters that could literally “rain on your parade.” This will help you determine if you want to have an exclusive indoor or outdoor ceremony or reception. You might want to consider having your ceremony indoors and your reception outdoors or vice versa. The other thing to be mindful of is thinking of suitable dates that take work and school schedules, or holiday breaks, into consideration. Some couples also mull over what time of year would be best for a destination wedding or honeymoon. Be aware that having at least 3 dates in mind will be helpful when starting to explore your choice of venue.
- Create a Registry or Wedding Website
A fun part of planning your wedding is creating a gift registry for your guests. If this is part of your preparation, we suggest registering for at least two national chains and one local store. This provides local and out of town guests with plenty of options. If you are not really in need of the latest kitchen gadgets, monogrammed towels, or personalized wine glasses, you might want to opt for making a Venmo or Paypal account for guests to offer a monetary gift instead. The account information can be included on the invitation or on a sign purposely placed next to your guest book at your reception. Another consideration is to create a Wedding Website. This can include your engagement story, your ring pic, fun facts about how you met, and any announcements, such as “Save the Date.” Of course, the gifts are not the reason for this occasion, but guests will expect to have some way of showing their support of your union.
- Discuss Guest List & Wedding Party
It is time to consider who you want to join in on the celebration of your nuptials. Do you want an intimate gathering of friends and family members, or are you are thinking of something grander? Do you want to invite the entire family of both the bride and groom? Are you expecting adults only? These questions are excellent ones to begin with. Of course, your budget needs to be at the forefront when deciding how many guests you would like in attendance. This would also be an appropriate time to talk about the size of your Wedding Party. Do you want an even number on each side or is it ok to have an odd number? Do you want to include any children or pets? Of course, the most important part about the discussion of these two topics is that they will stay in the “grey area” as further planning develops.
- Explore Venues
Once you have nailed down a budget, date options, number of guests and wedding party, you are ready to start scouting out venues. The first question to answer is whether you are looking for a venue to accommodate both the ceremony and the reception or just one or the other. Start browsing the internet to find venues that catch your eye when looking at photos and reviews. Can you picture yourself there? Also, find out if these venues are hosting an open house. It is always best to go see it for yourself, so you can meet the staff and discuss their offerings. For example, at The Cottage Wedding Venue, we host an open house every Wednesday night from 4:00pm-7:00pm. This gives couples a chance to see our accommodations, speak with preferred vendors, and discuss our all inclusive and a la carte packages. It is imperative to find out if the venue you are exploring offers in house catering or allows you to bring in your own food and beverages. The Cottage Wedding Venue works hand in hand with Z Catering to provide our couples with the best food and beverage options to fit their needs, or you can choose an offsite vendor to “cater in” instead. The size of the venue, as well as the décor and tableware options, needs to match your vision for your perfect day. The Cottage offers a rustic, chic atmosphere that is full of charm and ambiance. Most importantly, we offer the flexibility needed to fully customize your affair.
In short, the 10 tips and tricks listed above will successfully guide you from saying “Yes” to “I do!” They will also ensure that you have a solid plan in place for making your vision board into a reality. In order to expedite this process, allow our seasoned coordinators at The Cottage Wedding Venue in Gilbert, AZ to be a guiding hand. We have the knowledge, training, expertise, and mindfulness to make any event personal, significant, and unforgettable. Reach out by calling 480-747-0756 or sending a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Better yet, come meet us at our next Open House on Wednesday, January 15th from 4:00pm-7:00pm to get the conversation started. We look forward to hearing how we can serve you!